Microsoft is a big cloud player offering a range of services including Computer, networking, storage, databases, mobile, web, Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence.


All of these services categories can be offered in three different cloud computing types:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)
  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS)


We are going to go through each type to learn what it is, what it is suitable for and some examples of its kind. With the diagram below, you can also get a brief overview of each type and their differences in terms of the available services as well as the level of control you have over your information.

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1.  Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)


IaaS is the base level where you have the most flexibility. Some businesses might consider hiring cloud storage and computing power to enhance their IT infrastructure.



  • Easy to use: setting up virtual machines (VMs) has never been easier with the Microsoft Azure portal. You can spin off a VM that you have complete control over within a few clicks from Azure portal.
  • Both Windows and Linux virtual machines are available.
  • Choose your infrastructure components as you desire and scale it up whenever needed.
  • Pay-as-you-go cost model (No need to invest upfront)
  • For professionals used to an on-premise setup, this is simple step-up to adopting cloud.
  • Usage of Azure VMs is still similar to your on-premise servers where you still have remote desktop access (RDP/ RDC) into the machine where you manage everything from the operating system to the applications on it.
  • Because of similarities between on-premise and Azure VMs, your IT team does not need to spend too much time learning new technologies.



2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)


Given that it is a complete up and running platform, the platform -as-a-service helps to remove additional work for developers so that they can focus more on their priorities which are developing, testing and deploying software applications.

In many situations, organizations do not have enough resources and expertise to manage everything. Their main goal is rolling out products quickly for end-users. Given what they want, Microsoft provides developers an option where they do not have to worry about the underlying infrastructure and can get a complete environment for development and deployment in the cloud.



  • Suitable for developers: developers can build cloud-based applications in a secure environment. With Microsoft Azure, their applications can also utilize valuable features such as high-availability, scalability, and security.
  • Time-saving: this option reduces the IT admin’s time of setting up infrastructure for their business applications.
  • Access to other tools: apart from your core applications, you can integrate them with many available services and components in Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
  • Pay-as-you-go cost model allows you to spend within your means and budget.


3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)


The last type is targeted for end-users who do not have to worry about anything, except for using the products for their own needs.



  • Suitable for end-users with no need of managing or maintaining the products
  • Can use as a ready complete product.


Some popular examples are Office 365, Exchange Online, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Dynamics 365.


Cloud and Shared Responsibility

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With cloud services, these models can layer top of each other, and you should be aware of the level of abstraction for the benefits of quicker development. Moreover, you should understand the shared responsibilities between cloud consumers and cloud providers. From IaaS, PaaS to SaaS, you will have less control, whereas, cloud providers will take a bigger part of management and maintenance.


In conclusion, cloud providers can offer you a multitude of different cloud models depending on your needs and your level of information control. You can choose whatever model that suits you and also combine them as per your requirements.

Contact us here today if you are looking for a local, reliable cloud partner. 

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